New home for food rehoming volunteers
FOOD wastage and awareness on the Sunshine Coast has been a growing problem, but a group combating that has just moved into a new home with a new set of wheels.
OzHarvest is a food rescue service.
In short, the team of volunteers collect surplus food from supermarkets, cafes and households that may have been seconds, over-supplied or slightly bruised, and gift them on to schools, charities, and the community’s needy.
For almost four years, volunteers were using their own cars and operating out of a garage, and chapter co-ordinator Michele Lipner said this latest development is a game-changer.
“It has significant implications for the whole program,” Ms Lipner said.
“Now we have the ability to reach further and store more food for longer, so we can help a wider reach of the community.
“For a while my garage ended up being the focal point for foods.”
Alongside their redistribution, OzHarvest also offers education and awareness on the environmental and social impacts of food wastage, and the new premises will allow them to put a growing focus on this.
“Education and advocacy is better done when you have an office and can think, plan and initiate events to do that help with messages,” Ms Lipner said.
Funding came from government grants, local funds, and an overwhelming amount from community fundraising.
“If it weren’t for the community we wouldn’t be here,” Ms Lipner said.
Ms Lipner urged anyone considering volunteering to make contact via the website: ozharvest.org.
FOOD RESCUE: Jane McCarthy and Michele Lipner with the new van to help them redistribute surplus food on the Sunshine Coast.